In 2015, an English couple made headlines for listing their first edition Princess bear — one of Ty Inc.’s most popular toys ever — for about $100,000 on eBay. “We couldn’t believe it. We picked it up for $15 [at a flea market] and it could be worth tens of thousands,” Leah Rogers told the Daily Star at the time.
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Unfortunately, the pair’s listing price for the bear was a bit too optimistic, according to Beanie Baby collector site TyCollector.com. “Contrary to all of the hype, misinformation, and secondary market speculation, even a first edition version of Princess made in China is currently worth approximately $33,” the website claimed. “A first edition version of Princess made in Indonesia is worth approximately $72.” However, a good number of the bears still reportedly garner hundreds of dollars on eBay today, with one recently selling for $300.
Ty Inc. debuted the coveted Princess bear on Oct. 29, 1997, nearly two months after Diana’s death at age 36 in an August 1997 car crash. At the time, the company stated all proceeds from the stuffed animal’s sales would be donated to the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund.
The Princess bear was sent to vendors across the world in December 1997. Only 12 Diana Beanie Babies were initially released to each merchant, but high demand forced Ty Inc. to later hugely increase production of the collectible bear.
The first edition bears come with a sweet poem about Diana inside the toy’s tag. “Like an angel she came from heaven above; she shared her compassion, her pain, her love; she only stayed with us long enough to teach the world to share, to give, to reach,” the message reads.
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